Multiline Magic in Your Node.JS Environment Variables!

Multiline environment variables in Node.js can be useful in scenarios where a single environment variable needs to hold a multi-line string or configuration. This can provide a more readable and organized way to structure data within an environment variable, especially when dealing with configurations that have line breaks or multiline values.

Here are a few scenarios where multiline environment variables might be beneficial:

  1. Configuration Files: In some cases, configuration files are read and parsed into environment variables. Multiline values can help represent complex configurations more clearly.
  2. Text Blocks or Templates: If your application needs to handle multiline text blocks or templates, storing them in multiline environment variables can be more convenient than concatenating strings in your code.
  3. Certificates or Keys: In situations where certificates, keys, or other sensitive information need to be stored as environment variables, multiline values may be used for better formatting.

See also: Exciting Node.JS features for developers released in March 2024

How to use Multiline Environment variables in Node.JS

Using multiline environment variables in Node.js involves a specific syntax within your .env file. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use multiline environment variables:

  1. Create or Open Your .env File:
    • If you don’t have a .env file, create one in the root directory of your Node.js project.
    • Open the existing or newly created .env file.
  2. Define Multiline Variables:
    • To define a multiline variable, use the following syntax:
      VARIABLE_NAME="Line 1
      Line 2
      Line 3"
    • Ensure that the multiline content is enclosed within double quotes.
  3. Access Multiline Variable in Node.js:
    • Use the dotenv package to load your environment variables. If you haven’t installed it, you can do so using:
      npm install dotenv
    • In your Node.js script, require and configure dotenv to load the variables:
    • Now, you can access the multiline variable as you would with any other environment variable:
      const multilineValue = process.env.VARIABLE_NAME;
      This will output:
      Line 1
      Line 2
      Line 3
  4. Handle Multiline Content:
    • Once loaded, you can handle the multiline content as a regular string in your Node.js application.

Here’s a simple example:


MULTI_LINE="Hello World!
This is

Node.js Script:

const multilineContent = process.env.MULTI_LINE;


Hello World!
This is

Make sure to replace VARIABLE_NAME with the actual name you choose for your multiline variable. This approach allows you to maintain clean and readable multiline content in your .env file while accessing it seamlessly in your Node.js application.

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